WHEN travelling abroad and being asked where I have travelled from how easy it is to answer “Newcastle upon Tyne”. The chances are high I won’t have to explain beyond that one word Newcastle.
Perhaps it’s down to the global audience that follows football and rugby but I suspect it has something to do with the recognition that Newcastle was a 19th Century, engineering, powerhouse, a centre of invention.
Those who study history will recognise the contribution we made to the world as the British Empire grew with the invention of new products.
Blessed with huge reserves of coal, ironstone and lead, Newcastle was the focal point of making the best of the supply of raw materials through the invention and ingenuity of engineers such as Armstrong, Parsons, Stephenson and Swan.
We had the ports at Blyth, Newcastle, Sunderland and Seaham to export coal, the world’s first public railway heralded a change that would reverberate around the world, the ships from the Tyne and Wear supplied the Empire and stood at the bow of trans-Atlantic travel with Swan Hunter’s Mauretania holding the Atlantic Blue Riband for 22 years and which evolved from Parsons’ marine turbine.
Supporting the shipbuilders and engineers was a supply chain that specialised in essential components such as lifeboats and hatch covers so a huge supply sector was spawned much as we see today supporting Nissan’s Sunderland facility.
Newcastle glass thanks to the Beilby’s, Newcastle ceramics, Newcastle Brown Ale, the miners’ lamp, the light bulb, hydroelectricity, railway lines and engines, iron and steel, hydraulics and steam power all burst forth from this great part of the British Isles.
So in front of us is the brand, the powerful name of Newcastle, the region’s capital. A brand is an instant trigger for the positive. So another sub-brand of a famous chocolate will be as desirable as you always remembered.
The whole essence of marketing is brand strength. It speaks volumes simply through a name. St. Tropez, St.Moritz, Ascot – three names that will conjure up immediate images. The world is full of locational brands that have stood the test of time.
Likewise Newcastle, or City Region as G9 would call it, is memorable because of the part played by Newcastle in producing wealth and power for Great Britain.
Ian Parker is a consultant at GVA and a member of the G9 group of chartered surveyors which includes BNP Paribas Real Estate, DTZ, Gavin Black & Partners, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Naylors Chartered Surveyors, Sanderson Weatherall, Storeys Edward Symmons and J K Property Consultants.